New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to strictly stop the sale of gutka, available in markets in different packs, while making it clear that it has banned chewable tobacco and nicotine available in all forms.
According to a report in The Indian Express, a bench of Justices V. Gopala Gowda and Adarsh K. Goel underlined regulation 2.3.4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition & Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011, while giving the directions.
The regulation 2.3.4 states: “Product not to contain any substance which may be injurious to health: Tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.”
However, there are companies that are selling pan masala and tobacco in separate sachets due to the lack in enforcement of the regulation, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, an amicus curiae looking into the petitions linked to gukta ban, said.
“Instead of the earlier ready-to-consume mix, tobacco companies are now selling gutkha in twin packs to be mixed as one,” said Subramanium. He sought strict implementation of the regulation leading to a complete ban on products with tobacco and nicotine.
“In view of the above, concerned statutory authorities are directed to comply with the above mandate of law. We also direct the Secretaries, Health Departments of all the States and Union Territories to file their affidavits before the next date of hearing on the issue of total compliance of the ban imposed on manufacturing and sale of gutkha and pan masala with tobacco and/or nicotine,” the court ordered.
The Supreme Court will hear the matter again in November.